Fancy the challenge of helming your boat through blue crystal waters after a night sipping wine under a warm starlit sky? Or how about coping with the power of a Force 6; perhaps in the pouring rain? Whichever sounds best, chartering may be for you…
As a member of a charter crew there is the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of running the boat allowing you to hone your skills in navigation, catering and boat handing skills. All skill levels are welcome, especially beginners, who are introduced to yachting in a warm and friendly environment.
Chartering is a great way to explore new sailing areas. We have organised successful Charter Flotillas, exploring the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, the Ionian in Greece, Turkey, the Balearics in Spain, British Virgin Islands, Scottish western isles and the Stockholm archipelago in Sweden. We normally try to coordinate at least one foreign flotilla each year which usually attract several boats full of members... I think our most popular charter flotilla comprised nine 40 ft boats and over 50 members exploring the baltic!
Chartering at Club Events
Although most Members join our events on their own boats, or by crewing for boat-owing Club Members; chartering (hiring) a boat for the weekend can be a great alternative, particularly for qualified Skippers who do not have a boat their own boat. We often see charter boats at the more popular Club events, such as the Treasure Hunt, and Bank Holiday weekend rallies.
How does it work?
In order to charter a boat, most yacht charter companies require a qualified skipper to take responsibility for the boat and the safety of the crew. This may be in the form of an 'ICC' or International Certificate of Competence, or a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualification, such as Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster (Canal charters tend to be an exception, where seemingly th only qualification is the ability to point the boat down the canal).
If you don't have the necessary qualifications, you could consider training if you're keen to Skipper the boat yourself. Many charters begin life with discussions at our Social events, held regularly throughout the year, or you could use the Club's Crew Match Facebook group, membership directory, or contact the event organiser to see if there are any potential Skippers registered for the event. The Club as many qualified skippers amongst our Members, so its rarely a challenge to find a suitably qualified skipper (on one Flotilla I found myself aboard a boat crewed with two Coastal Skippers, a Yachtmaster and a Yachtmaster Instructor!).
When events are published, charter skippers and potential crew use the Club's Crew Match Facebook group, membership directory to gather together a boat load. Occasionally crews form to organise ad hoc charters, e.g. a summer holiday cruising down to the south west, or a canal charter.
It's important to discuss and agree how to share costs / damages amongst the skipper and crew. Typically a week's yacht charter starts at around £400 per person and a weekend on the South Coast from around £150, assuming you have all the cabins occupied (having crew sleeping in the saloon can bring the costs down further, but can be rather cramped and inconvenient for a week's cruising). Fuel and cleaning are often additional costs, and refundable deposits may be required for damage.